President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who is now running for re-election, signed a decree dismissing first deputy head of SZRU, the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service, Serhiy Semochko.
Poroshenko made the announcement as he spoke in front of journalists and supporters at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
As UNIAN reported earlier, investigative journalists established facts that may prove Semochko's ties with Russia via his family members and the "aggressor state might have paid this official for information from him." Nashi Groshi journalists found evidence that Semochko owns real estate worth over UAH 200 million (US$7.4 million), while his family members, namely his common-law wife and her daughter, have Russian citizenship and run a business in Russian-occupied Crimea.
On October 3, 2018, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) opened a criminal case under Part 3 of Article 368-2 (illegal enrichment) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On December 16, 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would decide on Semochko's dismissal after the counterintelligence department of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine completed its investigation.
On January 24, 2019, the then head of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service Yehor Bozhok told a Ukrainian media outlet that Semochko was denied access to state secrets.
On March 14, 2019, Poroshenko dismissed Bozhok from the post he had held since September 2017.